Last updated May 8, 2018 at 10:21 am
Children and their parents are underestimating the danger of scooters, skateboard and skates with often dire consequences.
Scooter riders are less likely to wear a helmet, despite the fact that they are more likely to fall over the handlebars in an accident, meaning most injuries are to the head and face, Australian researchers say.
A study of 342 children who presented to paediatric trauma centres in Sydney over an eight-month period found than less than half of the scooter riders had been wearing a helmet – lower than for bicycles or other forms of “non-motorised wheeled recreational vehicles” (NMRWV), such as skateboards and in-line skates.
Across all categories, younger children were less likely to wear helmets than older ones, and all ages were significantly more likely to wear helmets in specified recreational areas (bike tracks and skate parks) than in unspecified areas (footpaths, roads, driveways and playgrounds).
“It is important for children and their parents to understand that bicycle and NMWRV injury is not situation-based and can occur in any riding environment,” the researchers say.
“As parental role modelling has great influence on any child activity, educational programs must be targeted to not only children but to parents as well.
“It is also necessary to educate community members, including sale staff/manufacturers, so they can pass on to buyers the importance of helmet use.”
Helmet use is mandatory for bicycles in all states, but only in SA for NMRWV.